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Chapter 4
Focus on County Taxes

Total property values in Texas counties increased by 7.3 percent, from $1.4 trillion to $1.5 trillion (Table 23). The overall tax levy increased by 7.1 percent, from $4.5 billion to $4.8 billion.

Single-family residences continue to be the primary source of property values for counties, with 45.9 percent of all county value made up by this category of property, which decreased by two tenths of a percent from 2004 when it was 46.1 percent. Vacant land, including lots and acreage, had an increase in the share of the total tax burden. Two categories saw real dollar decreases in value. Industrial real property fell from $67.1 billion to $66.3 billion and intangible personal property decreased from $39.9 million to $10.4 million.

Table 23: County Property Values and Tax Levy Statewide – 2004 and 2005

Property Categories

Type of Category 2004 Market Value 2004 Percent of Value 2005 Market Value 2005 Percent of Value
A. Single-Family Residential $638,326,736,120 46.1% $681,580,007,474 45.9%
B. Multi-Family Residential 56,907,332,106 4.1% 61,483,517,731 4.1%
C. Vacant Lots 28,368,272,885 2.0% 30,565,373,934 2.1%
D. Acreage (Land Only) 125,287,414,107 9.0% 135,817,329,663 9.1%
E. Farm and Ranch Improvements 30,703,028,405 2.2% 32,862,408,410 2.2%
F1. Commercial Real 179,015,107,915 12.9% 192,674,392,791 13.0%
F2. Industrial Real 67,145,142,568 4.8% 66,260,289,291 4.5%
G. Oil, Gas and Minerals 51,699,109,960 3.7% 67,748,530,599 4.6%
H. Vehicles 183,646,158 0.0% 190,908,857 0.0%
J. Utilities 39,106,935,115 2.8% 39,244,429,967 2.6%
L1. Commercial Personal 94,474,717,284 6.8% 97,325,738,545 6.5%
L2. Industrial Personal 59,033,923,536 4.3% 64,361,311,744 4.3%
M. Other Personal 5,464,146,965 0.4% 5,570,541,083 0.4%
N. Intangible Personal 39,933,055 0.0% 10,400,046 0.0%
O. Real Property, Inventory 5,375,666,928 0.4% 6,117,073,022 0.4%
S. Special Property 3,389,902,152 0.2% 4,090,468,684 0.3%
Total Values $1,384,521,015,259 100.0% $1,485,902,721,841 100.0%

Deductions[1]

Type of Deduction 2004 Market Value 2004 Percent of Value 2005 Market Value 2005 Percent of Value
Deductions - Farm to Market 47,216,388,790 3.4% $73,422,360,533 4.9%
Deductions - General Fund 141,130,390,124 10.2% 257,366,560,764 17.3%

County Levy

Type of Levy 2004 Market Value 2004 Percent of Value 2005 Market Value 2005 Percent of Value
General Fund Levy 4,262,874,420 95.6% 4,574,792,670 95.9%
Farm to Market & Flood Control Levy 126,417,154 2.8% 134,650,513 2.8%
Road and Bridge Levy 67,764,617 1.5% 63,209,025 1.3%
Total County Levy $4,457,056,191 100.0% $4,772,662,208 100.0%

[1]The percent of deductions represents the percent of total market value.
Source: Carole Keeton Strayhorn, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Property Tax Division.

County Deductions

State law mandates that counties grant a $3,000 homestead exemption for the farm-to-market roads and flood control tax. In 2005, this exemption totaled $3.2 billion.

The amount of exemption may be greater for those homeowners 65 or older or disabled. For 2005, 74 counties granted local option percentage homestead exemption ranging from 1 to 20 percent to 275,714 citizens 65 and older. Thirty-eight counties granted the additional exemption to 30,069 disabled persons. This accounted for a loss of $5.3 billion in value due to these optional exemptions.

County Tax Rates

Each county may levy as many as three individual tax rates for funds dedicated to specific purposes as provided by the Texas Constitution. Those three funds include Farm-to-Market Roads & Flood Control, General Fund and a Special Road and Bridge Fund.

All 254 Texas counties impose a tax for the General Fund. In 2005, that levy totaled $4.6 billion. For the 2005 tax year, 118 counties reported levying the Farm-to-Market Roads & Flood Control tax raising $134.7 million. Seventy-one counties levied the Special Road and Bridge tax resulting in $63.2 million in revenue.

Counties Local Self Report Data – 2005

Table 24 summarizes county property values, exemptions, deductions and tax levies statewide. Property Tax Code Section 5.09 requires the Comptroller’s annual report to include for each county the total appraised value of property by property class, total taxable value and the tax rate.

For each county, Table 24 lists total appraised value in 15 property categories, as defined in Chapter 2. Appraised value represents the market value of property on January 1, 2005. Qualified agricultural and timberlands receive productivity appraisal. Taxable value means the appraised value minus partial exemptions and other possible deductions.

PDF fileTable 24: Total Appraised Value in 15 Property Categories for Each County in Texas

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Many counties report little or no 2005 value in Category H, Vehicles. Personal property not used to produce income, such as personal vehicles, is exempt from taxation unless a school district takes official action to tax it. Category M, Other Personal, is the property value of other personal property, such as manufactured homes. Although Category N, Intangible Personal, appears in this appendix, there is little or no intangible personal property value to tax.

Category S, Special Property, includes certain property inventory of businesses that provide items for sale to the public. State law requires these appraisal districts to appraise inventory items based on the business’ total annual sales in the prior tax year. The following are the four types of Category S properties: Dealer’s Motor Vehicle Inventory, Dealer’s Heavy Equipment Inventory, Dealer’s Vessel and Outboard Motor Inventory and Retail Manufactured Housing Inventory.

Total Value in each category is the appraised value before exemptions or special appraisal.

Permanent University Fund Lands

The Permanent University Fund (PUF) provides money for the maintenance and support of the University of Texas, Texas A&M University and most of their branch campuses. The fund owns more than 2 million acres located in 22 counties. Under provisions of Texas Constitution Article VII, Section 16(a), the state pays county taxes on the land and mineral interest.

In 2005, the taxable value of PUF land and minerals was $313,115,864. The state paid $1,625,222 in county taxes on that land. Table 25 provides an alphabetical list, by county, of the value of PUF-owned land.

Table 25: University of Texas – Permanent University Fund Land 2005 Values

County Acres Number of Parcels Surface Market Value Ag Use Value Non Ag Use Value Surface Taxable Value Mineral Royalty Taxable Value Total Taxable Value Total Tax Paid
Andrews 293,029.500 466 $17,803,980 $1,739,910 $10,250 $1,750,160 $99,179,855 $100,930,015 $461,918.76
Callahan 0.000 0 0 0 0.00
Cooke 166.500 2 100,550 11,800 11,800 43,820 55,620 279.88
Crane 65,244.800 104 2,707,140 350,060 350,060 67,379,640 67,729,700 322,867.81
Crockett* 367,198.020 592 40,393,160 5,874,400 4,760 5,879,160 19,924,670 25,803,830 141,146.99
Culberson 46,006.658 72 1,478,960 305,780 4,320 310,100 310,100 2,649.19
Dawson 163.500 2 11,440 1,800 1,800 1,800 10.63
Ector* 6,142.280 21 491,382 42,464 6,050 48,514 9,144,942 9,193,456 41,830.26
El Paso* 11,822.549 36 2,028,519 347,793 512,073 859,866 859,866 3,716.83
Gaines 2,805.500 9 244,430 37,350 37,350 37,350 119.81
Hudspeth 493,405.000 708 24,670,250 2,284,683 2,284,683 2,284,683 15,097.19
Irion 25,353.800 53 4,183,410 542,590 542,590 387,340 929,930 4,368.90
Lamar 513.300 6 233,900 44,840 44,840 44,840 195.23
Loving 25,881.600 49 724,690 75,130 75,130 662,200 737,330 3,604.67
Martin 16,687.200 35 842,780 223,890 30 223,920 2,924,780 3,148,700 12,595.66
Pecos* 188,316.108 319 12,036,140 1,677,700 80 1,677,780 5,321,850 6,999,630 46,197.38
Reagan 218,105.850 374 30,921,670 2,607,420 1,474,610 4,082,030 22,152,640 26,234,670 135,971.07
Schleicher 61,835.000 105 18,590,900 2,051,430 2,051,430 2,430,320 4,481,750 31,838.06
Terrell 61,884.000 96 5,878,980 655,944 655,944 4,039,830 4,695,774 17,745.35
Upton 86,429.500 141 6,482,550 276,580 276,580 8,656,910 8,933,490 41,326.28
Ward 80,639.356 158 4,518,050 386,000 1,975,550 2,361,550 36,967,000 39,328,550 272,957.12
Winkler 49,036.700 88 1,388,240 141,120 141,120 10,233,660 10,374,780 68,785.17
Totals 2,100,666.721 3,436 $175,731,121 $19,678,684 $3,987,723 $23,666,407 $289,449,457 $313,115,864 $1,625,222.24

* These counties had acreage reductions in 2005 due to Global Positioning System resurveys and road construction. Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, 2005.

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